Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Grade
Frank Stella Drawings

My first graders learned about Frank Stella, and created drawings similar to his bold, geometric paintings. These drawings were done on grey construction paper with Crayola construction paper crayons. We first drew in pencil, using rulers and plastic lids to trace the circles. I had lids from yogurt containers, butter, baby food jars, whatever you have nearby will do. Then, as we colored, we switched to a new color each time we met a new line or shape. This is neat looking, no matter how ambitious the child wants to be in terms of line quantity.

Rock Star Collage
To create this collage, we first made the background by collecting faces from kid-appropriate magazines and gluing them with glue sticks to alleviate wrinkling. We added details like lights and decorations, and perhaps including arms waving wildly within the audience in their enthusiasm for the rock star. Then, we talked about building the human body using simple shapes. The kids traced pre-cut ovals to make the body and appendages, then colored the figure, adding instruments or other equipment. Lots of children love Guitar Hero, so many of them had some really fun guitars in their collages. We then glued the human figure, or the foreground, onto the stage background.

Monet's Garden
We bagan this unit by reading Linnea in Monet's Garden, by Cristina Bjork. This gives a nice tour of the place. We then created a tissue paper collage on green or blue paper, adding the tissue for the sky, water, and land, and identifying the horizon line. The following class, we added details like the lilies, koi fish, trees, grasses, birds, and other living things in construction paper crayon.

Spring Flower Resist
I placed a still life setup of silk flowers at each table. We identified the parts of a flower and created a drawing in pencil from observation. The vases were unique to each child since I only had random food containers to place the flowers in. The first graders included a pattern either on the vase or table cloth. Once the pencil drawing was done, we traced the lines in crayon, and then painted in watercolor. I love a resist for a young painter because it keeps the colors from bleeding into each other so much, and adds clarity to the image.

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